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A Turkish painter who produced enthusiastically lyrical and sincere works uniting the stylistic features of Expressionism and Fauvism.

Fikret Mualla Saygı was born in Istanbul and died in Nice, France on July 20, 1967. He was lame as the result of a childhood accident. That and his father’s subsequent remarriage following the death of his mother contributed to his difficult and maladjusted character as a child. Following education at Saint Joseph, a school of French origin, he attended Galatasaray High School for a certain period, but was sent to Germany to study engineering even before graduating. He travelled around Germany, went to Switzerland and Italy and visited museums in those countries. Once he realised his artistic ability, Mualla gained a sound knowledge of design within a short period of time. He made successful paintings, fashion drawings and engravings. His designs were accepted by the most famous German magazines. When his father began to experience financial difficulties and was unable to send him money any more, he stayed in Germany until the age of twenty-five, supported by an Egyptian prince.
Having lived most of his life in France, Fikret Mualla selected his themes from among the details of Paris life, such as cafes, circuses and the streets. For him painting was a way of life. He sincerely translated the facts of life into colours and form and painted the members of the Bohemian circle in which he lived. He mostly used gouache technique and worked very fast with it. However, he was as professional and skilled with oils as he was with watercolour and gouache. Theoretical painting problems were not a particularly significant consideration for him. He was untouched by external influences and did not join in contemporary trends. He painted in the way he felt, subjectively and full of enthusiastic lyricism.

Fikret Mualla

  • gouache on paper

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